Now in the News: U.S. And U.K. Readers Prefer Digital News, But About Half Prefer Print Magazines

September 16, 2022

 New Jersey Newspaper Group Buys Four Central Mass. Weeklies From Gannett

The sale of The Millbury-Sutton Chronicle, The Grafton News, The Landmark of Holden and the Leominster Champion to CherryRoad Media gives all four of them a new lease on life — literally in the case of The Landmark, which had been scheduled to shut down Sept. 15, David Dore reports in the Chronicle

According to the CherryRoad website, the company “is focused on using technology to strengthen communities through their local newspapers. We believe the newspaper is an essential resource for developing strong communities. By using technology, we can supplement the printed newspaper with enhanced digital capabilities.” “Very welcome journalism news in a place in need of it,” tweeted Mark Henderson, whose aggregation project The 016 tracks local media in the Worcester area.

In her recent “State of Local News” report, Northwestern University journalism professor Penny Abernathy identified the rise of regional chains such as CherryRoad as being among the trends to watch as money-losing Gannett unloads newspapers. “Two-thirds of the 82 papers Gannett sold in the past two years were snapped up by two regional chains, CherryRoad Media and Paxton,” she wrote. “Six of the 10 largest owners in 2022 are regional chains, with between 50 and 142 papers in their growing empire.”

Bill Aimed At Helping Preserve Local Journalism Is Mired In Content Debate

Bipartisan legislation aimed at helping smaller news outlets band together to negotiate payments from big internet platforms has become tangled in partisan sniping about content moderation, potentially dimming its chances of becoming law this year.

The bill, known as the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, would create a baseball-style arbitration process enabling smaller publishers to negotiate for compensation when technology giants such as Meta Platforms Inc.’s Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s Google use their content.

Small publishers, such as family-owned local companies, particularly feel they don’t have the size or resources needed to negotiate with the much larger tech companies, media executives have said. Large national outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, wouldn’t be covered by the bill, according to sponsors, although newspaper chains and TV station groups could benefit.


British Newspapers, Other Media Observe Ad Blackouts In Honor Of The Queen

UK media, including newspapers, magazines, broadcast channels and social media, are observing self-imposed advertising blackouts in honor of Queen Elizabeth II, who died on Thursday.

On Friday, The Guardian reported that ad blackouts have been introduced by News UK, publisher of the Times and the Sun; Reach, owner of the Mirror, the Daily Express; the publishers of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph; and more than 100 regional titles, including the Manchester Evening News.

“In light of the recent announcement and as a mark of respect, Mail Metro Media will not be running any commercial advertisements across our print and digital platforms for a minimum of 24 hours, unless they are adverts in tribute to Her Majesty the Queen,” the publisher stated.

U.S. And U.K. Readers Prefer Digital News, But About Half Prefer Print Magazines

A solid 60% of U.S. consumers and 54% of UK consumers now prefer reading newspapers online rather than in print — but roughly half still prefer print when it comes to magazines, according to a YouGov survey of people in both markets. In the U.S., digital for news consumption purposes is preferred by 69% of 25 to 34-year-olds, 67% of those 18 to 24, and 51% of those 55 and older, according to a report on the results in PressGazette.

In the UK, 70% of 18 to 24-year-olds and three-quarters of those 25 to 34, but only 36% of over-55s, prefer reading news online, with 46% of that oldest group expressing a clear preference for print.

When it comes to magazines, 47% of Americans overall prefer print. This includes fully 61% of the 55+ group, 32% of 18 to 24 year-olds and 33% of those 25 to 34. Overall, 29% want digital magazines and 25% have no opinion.

Meanwhile, well over half (58%) of those in the UK still say they still get more enjoyment from reading magazines in print than online. While just 18% of UK consumers 18 to 24 prefer print magazines, print wins among all of the other age groups, edging out digital formats even among those 18 to 24.

YouGov polled nearly 56,000 consumers in the U.S. and more than 111,600 in the UK.